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IDEA Complaint Decision 18-053

On June 7, 2018 (form dated May 31, 2018), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX (complainant) against the XXXXX (district). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, since May 21, 2018, properly enabled a student with a disability to participate in extracurricular activities including music concerts.

Districts must take steps to afford students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities. All individualized education program (IEP) teams must determine whether each student needs supplementary aids and services to access noncurricular and extracurricular activities, describe those services with sufficient clarity, and ensure the services are provided as described in the student’s IEP when the student participates in such activities.

On May 21, 2018, the district held a spring choir concert. In preparation for the concert, the student, along with peers, attended a dress rehearsal the morning of the concert. The rehearsal was on the same stage where the evening concert was held. During the rehearsal, staff were concerned about the student standing on the risers with peers for reasons pertaining to safety and fatigue. Staff identified a platform that was placed on the stage a distance away from the risers. The student’s IEP includes “paraprofessional support” for academics and fine arts, communication, emotional regulation, social skills, transitions, safety, and on field trips. A paraprofessional was present during the rehearsal and the evening of the concert. The paraprofessional ensured that the student walked onto the stage with peers, and handed the student a musical instrument to use during the performance. The student participated in the concert on the platform for a period of time, before walking to another part of the stage where he remained until the class was done performing. The district properly enabled the student to participate in extracurricular activities, including music concerts.

This concludes our review of this complaint, all identified noncompliance must be corrected within one year of the date of this decision. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process.

//signed CST 8/6/2018
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support